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Dr. Michael Wessels
Michael Wessels has been lecturing in the English Department of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg since 2011. He taught for many years in rural and township schools in the southern African region before becoming an academic. He is the current chair of the Association of Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (ACLALS). He lives in an ecologically-orientated community in KwaZulu-Natal.
Academic Interests
Michael Wessels currently teaches courses in romanticism, American poetry and Indian fiction. He is especially interested in contemporary poetry, orality, literary theory, postcolonialism, romanticism, world literature, travel writing, and representations of place and nature.

His chief research interest is in the field of San Studies. He is the author of the book Bushman Letters: Interpreting /Xam Narrative and journal articles and book chapters on the subject of San narrative and the politics of San representation.. He has also published articles on contemporary South African writing.

Journal Articles
  • Antjie Krog, Stephen Watson and the Metaphysics of Presence. Current Writing. 19 (2), 2007: 24-48.
  • The Discursive Character of the /Xam Texts: a Consideration of the /Xam ‘Story of the Girl of the Early Race Who Made Stars’. Folklore. 119 (1), 2007: 307-324.
  • Myth of Origin or Play of Difference: a Discussion of Two Versions of the /Xam Story of the Moon and the Hare. Current Writing. 20 (1), 2008: 54-68.
  • New Directions in /Xam Studies: Some of the Implications of Andrew Bank’s Bushmen in a Victorian World: the Remarkable Story of the Bleek-Lloyd Collection of Bushman Folklore. Critical Arts: A Journal of North-South Cultural Studies. 22 (1), 2008: 69-82.
  • The Story in which the Children are Sent to Throw the Sleeping Sun into the Sky”: an Exploration of Power, Identity and Difference in a /Xam Narrative. Journal of Southern African Studies. 34 (3), 2008: 479-494.
  • Text or Presence: On Rereading the /Xam and the Interpretation of their Narratives. Journal of Literary Studies. 24 (3), 2008: 20-39.
  • The /Xam Narratives: Whose Myth of Origin? African Studies. 67 (3), 2008: 339-364.
  • Religion and the /Xam Texts. Current Writing. 20 (2), 2008: 44-66.
  • The Universal and the Local: the Trickster and the /Xam Narratives. English in Africa. 35 (2), 2008: 7-33.
  • Foraging, Talking and Tricksters: a Critical Appraisal of Mathias Guenther’s Contribution to Reading the /Xam Narratives. Journal of Folklore Research. 45 (3), 2008: 299-328.
  • Reading the Hartebeest: a Critical Appraisal of Roger Hewitt’s Interpretation of the /Xam Narratives. Research in African Literatures: 40 (2), 2009: 82-108.
  • The Lightness of Literature and the /Xam Story, ‘Kwammang-a is Found by Crows’. Journal of Southern African Folklore. 19 (1), 2009: 1-19.
  • The Story of “!Khwe // na ssho !kui who Brought Home a Young Lion to Use as a Dog: Character, Identity and Knowledge in a /Xam Narrative. Folklore. 122 (2), 2011: 177-196.
  • Bushman Voices of the Drakensberg: Zanele Mkhwanzi’s Story. Current Writing 24 (1), 2012: 58-71.
  • The /Xam Narratives of the Bleek and Lloyd Collection: Questions of Period and Genre. Western Folklore. 71 (1) 2012: 25-46.
  • The Khoisan Origins of the Interconnected Worldview in Antjie Krog’s Begging to be Black. Current Writing 24 (2), 2012: 186-197.
  • “A Story of a /Xam Bushman Narrative. Journal of Literary Studies 29 (3): 1-22. 2013.


  • Bushman Letters. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.  2010.

Chapters in Books

  • The Dasse’s Story and The Crow’s Story: The Interdiscursivity of /Xam Bushman Literature”. In: Narrating Nomadism: Tales of Recovery and Resistance: Ed. G. N. Devy, G. V. Davis and K. K. Chakravarty. London and New Delhi: Routledge. 2013: 182-201.
  • “Bushman Literature of the Drakensberg: The Re-emergence of a Vanished Voice”. In: Courage of //Kabbo: Ed. P. Skotnes and J. Deacon. 2013.
  • The /Xam Narratives of the Bleek and Lloyd Collection: Are They Mythology and Do They Belong to the Nineteenth Century? In: Performing Identities: The Celebration of Indigeneity in the Arts: Ed. G.N. Devy, G. Davis and K.K. Chakravarty. London and New Delhi: Routledge. 2014.

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